James Edward EnglishJames Edward English is credited with having made a major contribution to the modernization and beautification of New Haven. Born in New Haven on March 13, 1812, English at visit us 16 became an apprentice to Atwater Treat to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner. He became a contractor, designing a number there elaborate homes in New Haven.A master builder, English was click here as the equal of any architect and builder in New Haven. flourishing trade along the Farmington Canal. Buying and building vessels, he went into partnership with H.M. Welch, and the two men began shipping clocks to Philadelphia, returning coal and general merchandise to New Haven and other ports.
When Chauncey Jerome's clock company failed, English, Welch, Hiram Camp and John Wooddruff took over the assets, forming the New Haven Clock Co. The firm became the largest clock manufacturer in the in the world, producing a quarter of a million clocks a year.
In 1855, English bought a large interest in the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Co. of Naugatuck. His connection to that company endured for 37 years, 29 years as president. Other financial interests included the Adams Express Co., Plainville Manufacturing Co. and Bristol Brass. While serving in the state senate, English obtained a charter and established the Connecticut Savings Bank, serving as its president from 1857 until his death in 1890.
Investing heavily in real estate, English at one point owned more stores and dwellings in New Haven than any other person. Believing that New Haven business people needed a networking organization that would promote growth, English and Thomas R. Trowbridge reorganized the New Haven Chamber of Commerce. A new charter was granted on June 11, 1872. Trowbridge was elected president and English vice president of the reconstituted business group.
English's political career began in 1836 when he was elected selectman of New Haven. He spent 40 years in public service, serving as common councilman, a member of the state legislature and state senator. He served as a member of Congress during the Civil War, and in 1867 was elected Connecticut's governor. From 1875 to 1877 English capped his distinguished career by representing his state in the U.S. Senate.